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Packing List, Male, 65 years

Many years of bicycle touring and backpacking have defined my needs and I get it all in to a single, 40n liter duffle. I am not a minimalist. That is a different type of one-bag packing, easily researched on the intertubes.

Packing list includes items worn on the plane but not toiletries

2 Royal Robbins Active Traveler shorts, gray and khaki
2 Royal Robbins Active Traveler long pants, gray and khaki
2 Degree 32 short sleeve shirts, poly, purple and blue
1 REI long sleeve t shirt, poly, gray
1 REI long sleeve 1/4 zip shirt, poly, fluorescent orange
1 old cashmere pullover sweater, purple
1 Costco merino wool sweater, mid-weight, 1/4 zip, red heather
1 set REI silk sleep wear
4 underwear, briefs, poly
1 Showers Pass waterproof sox (did not use)
2 Smartwool calf high sox
1 REI cycling sox, poly, fluorescent green
2 cotton bandanas
1 Arcade stretch belt, fluorescent orange
1 Altra Paradigm shoes, blue and gray
1 Lems Primal shoes, red
1 Eddie Bauer travel blazer, nylon, gray
1 Eddie Bauer down coat, hooded, mid-weight, red
1 Marmot rain jacket, hooded, orange
1 REI sunhat, khaki
1 Smartwool buff, orange
1 Smartwool gloves, purple
1 Blunt umbrella, orange (did not use)
1 REI rain pants, black (did not use)
1 gym shorts/swim trunks, orange (did not use, did not need)

Bags for this trip:
REI Big Haul duffle, 40 liter, fluorescent orange
Patagonia Refugio backpack, 28 liter, bright red

Post-trip observations:

The REI Big Haul is an inexpensive ($90) and compact unit, ideal for one-bagging, that easily held all my stuff. The Big Haul series has absolutely no frills; simple soft duffles with flimsy shoulder straps and therefore not suitable for long portage. The Refugio easily held all of my daily carry items and needs for coach travel: munchies, water, binoculars, extra layers, and all supplies for self-contained excursions.

Your capsule wardrobe: I often see advice given, and personal preferences noted, that travelers should wear drab and dark colored clothing while visiting most of Europe. Apparently this makes you invisible. I find the rationalizations for this advice to be baseless if not complete nonsense. In Scotland, locals and visitors from all over the world wore whatever they wanted. I don’t do drab. And I fit right in. Some other countries are said to have high, perhaps even snooty, standards for fashion. That is never a problem for me.

I deliberately brought along a few items I could discard toward the end of the trip such as old short sleeve shirts, underwear, and sox.

I debated right up to the last moment to bring the travel blazer. I brought it and it turned out to be a classy splash for our three fancy dining occasions.

The set of four matched Royal Robbins bottoms allowed me to standardize on one configuration of pockets and security features. My daily carry items were always in the same locations so the pat-down became a reassuring habit. Royal Robbins makes excellent lightweight travel products. They rinsed easily and shed wrinkles if hung in the bathroom while showering.

The EB down coat was perfect for everyday wear and easily stuffed into a compact bundle when not needed.

The Marmot rain coat provided essential protection and could serve as a light coat if left open. It’s totally waterproof, no pit zips, so it needs a middle layer to help ventilate.

I did not use some rain gear items because an island excursion was canceled due to horrible weather. Had we made it to Iona, I’d have been glad for the umbrella and rain pants. Might not take the waterproof sox next time.

Posted by
548 posts

Thanks for an excellent packing list! Love that you added some bright colors. I'm going to check out a few of the brands that you mentioned. This should be super helpful for all the guys out there! Do the Lems shoes have any arch support? This is a new one for me.

Posted by
14248 posts


Did you wind up wearing the EB blazer on the tour? Or were your splashy dining occasions when you were on your own?

Did you need the down coat or did you manage with the Marmot?

Sorry you got cancelled out of Iona. We were about a gnats eyebrow of having our excursion cancelled last June and in fact had to hoof it to the abbey and back to the dock in about an hour and a half to catch the last ferry back to Mull that was set to run before high winds cancelled.

I'm about to go for some Lems - am looking at the Boulder Boot. Barbara, the Lems are a minimalist shoe with a zero drop platform and should not have any arch support.

Posted by
18755 posts

You know what impressed me; the travel blazer. You got class buddy. I am so tired of going to the show or a nice restaurant and seeing Americans wearing clothes that look like they were washed in the sink the night before. Oh! Wait! They were! Well done sir. To pack lighter, wear the thing on the plane. The inside pockets are perfect for tickets, passport, etc. Sort of an upscale travel vest. Or!!!! Stick to tourist restaurants and tourist concerts.

Posted by
1259 posts

I recently acquired the Aeronaut 30 by Tom Bihn. The “30” indicates 30 liters. And that is only 30 liters. This is a remarkably small, universally legal carry-on, soft-side, rectangular suitcase that is designed to be carried as a backpack, a duffle with a shoulder strap, or a brief case. Everything you see listed above, that I had packed into a 40 liter duffle bag, plus toiletries and doodads, fits easily into the Aeronaut 30. I do not really know how this is possible but I’m standing here, looking at the packed-out bag, and there’s nothing leaking out. There’s even some extra space where the cubes meet or the cubes’ contents are not efficiently rolled or compressed. It’s weird. But encouraging. Tom Bihn makes fabulous bags, handmade in Seattle, using top notch craftsmanship and materials. Expensive and worth every dollar. I fully expect this $300 bag to be passed on to my grandchildren if I had any.

Posted by
1259 posts

Pam: I edited the original post. Hope that helped to clarify. Happy travels!

Posted by
255 posts

If you included it, i didn’t notice a total weight for your list + bag. Care to educate us a bit more? Thanks

Posted by
8632 posts

Interesting bag - the REI Big Haul. According to website it only weighs 2.1 pounds.

Posted by
1259 posts

Bob: “If you included it, i didn’t notice a total weight for your list + bag. Care to educate us a bit more? Thanks”

Yeah, sorry, no clue. I stopped weighing my gear years ago. If I had to guess, and I don’t, maybe 10 kilos for the contents of both the duffle and the backpack and what I was wearing.